Crank this to 9.5 of 11
| Editor's Pick
Stoner rock, Heavy psych rock
Dead Meadow, Sons of Otis
Is this the early 90s when heavy hitters like Fu Manchu, Monster Magnet, Kyuss and Sleep were fresh and slowly gaining momentum on this scene? Fast forward a few years to the mid-nineties when a little something called the internet was becoming a popular source for us stoner rock lovers to discover bands all over the world. Meteor City became the go to site for seeking out these types of bands, it was like crack, we couldn’t order enough cd’s. As the genre started to get increasingly popular among the underground rock scene, more and more independent artists popped up left and right, some were flat out terrific and others just went by the way side. Well, to our delight stoner rock has never faded and seems to be hanging around just fine.
From time to time we come across a new band that captivates the essence of this genre. Enter Low Orbit, with their debut Self-Titled album. The band from Toronto have honed in on that early 90s spaced-out
stoner vibe, it’s like uncovering a hidden gem from this era and still
holds up today. Originally released digitally in 2014, they are now set to re-release this monolithic album on vinyl and disc through Pink Tank Records.
Our journey into Low Orbit begins with “Space Capsule,” a trippy, psychedelic intro that will melt your mind. This leads us towards “UForb,” with its characteristic stoner rock lyrics and rhythm; it sets the tone moving in the right direction. At first it has an early Fu Manchu meets Sons of Otis aura and the closest comparison to the vocals is a subdued psychedelic version of Ben Ward from Orange Goblin. The addicting Dead Meadow like dense rhythm of “WitchKing” follows, its smooth vibe and fuzz is in classic stoner rock form. The next track “International Bass Station” hits us with more of a spaced out intensity. The one aspect we have noticed throughout the album is the deep, rich sounding bass as it really enhances this style of music. It may just blow out your car speakers and will definitely challenge the best of stereo equipment, so crank it up.
Tracks five and six “Lost” and “Starships and Monoliths” continue to travel on Low Orbit’s path of spaced-out stoner psyche riffage. The well timed cowbell on “Lost” and the echoed vocals will pull you into their vortex. The second half of “Starships and Monoliths” is a terrific jam and sounds as if it was lifted from Sleep’s Holy Mountain. “TreeHowl” is a weirdly dark and trippy song, we hear a bit of old Electric Wizard here. The last cut “The Sloth” is a weightless drifting tune that straddles the outer realms of doom, more early Sleep rhythms can be found here as well. The bonus track “Angel Lust” on the newly released CD can also be found on the digital album as well. This track is terrific, it embodies everything we come to like about Low Orbit.
While Low Orbit may not be groundbreaking it has invigorated our love for the genre. We must note the instrumental track “Cosmic Wobble” is on the digital album only. This jam dives into classic stoner rock space jamming, so do yourself a favor and download this one, than head over Pink Tank and get this one on vinyl or disc. - 3/25/2016
Angelo Catenaro - vocals/lead guitar
Joe Grgic - bass/space
Emilio Mammone - drums
Standout Tracks: Angel Lust, TreeHowl, Starships and Monoliths